Tension is high over Initiative 26 (the Personhood Amendment) in Mississippi. Voters will cast their votes for or against this controversial amendment on Nov. 8.

If passed, the Mississippi Constitution will be amended to “define the word ‘person’ or ‘persons’ […] to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” Irin Carmon cited the ban on “common forms of birth control” as one of the potential effects of this amendment in her article for the online news site Salon.com.

An attack on the pill is not an attack on abortion, it’s an attack on a woman’s right to choose when she wants to have a child.  The claim by the Personhood movement of extremist pro-lifers is that the prevention of any eggs from being fertilized at all is equivalent to abortion.

Maybe that makes sense to them, but blocking the implantation of an egg is “something a woman’s body does naturally all the time.” How can that be potentially equated to murder if it occurs outside a woman’s control even without the use of “hormonal birth-control pills” and the morning-after pill? It doesn’t seem rational.

The most disturbing aspect of the whole argument is that Personhood activists state there should be no exceptions for having an abortion in cases of rape or incest. If a woman is happy to have a child conceived under those circumstances, then she has every right to. However, if a woman was raped or was the victim of incest and she wants to have an abortion from the time she finds out she is pregnant, then she should be allowed to do so. Wouldn’t it be worse to continue her pregnancy, eventually bringing a child into the world that she already disdains because she associates it with such a painful memory? It doesn’t seem in the child’s best interest to do so.

What are your thoughts on Initiative 26?

-Erin Elzo

  1. jay says:

    It’s even more disturbing that BOTH gubernatorial candidates support the prop 26, which contributes to give a huge legitimacy to the fringe proposition.

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